Learn a little about our beautiful venue and the first (of many) funshops - UPCYCLING
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Learning Reimagined Family Conference 11/12 February 2017

When the conference eventually comes to a close on the 12th February it will be one day short of 4 years since a couple of unschooling/homeschooling families gathered at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens (WSBG) to “brainstorm ideas and structures that can help this community…… maybe something could come of it.” (so the email read)

Maybe something could come of it! How about a national conference! At the time, not much came of that discussion, not immediately. But we did grow as a learning community: in numbers; in maturity; in our understanding of the significance of taking an alternate route to industrial schooling; in our confidence about this alternate path and in the various opportunities that have been made available as a learning community.

Over the years this garden has played host to a number of unschoolers/homeschoolers' picnics, including a teen hike that left me very unpopular amongst the teens. (It's a gruelling uphill and it was a scorching hot day!) Many friendships were started in the very gardens.

So while we searched for a venue all over Gauteng, the gardens waited patiently for us to find our way to the Strelitzia Hall. It's fitting, it feels right and we are so excited at the possibilities that the venue offers.

The elegant and modern Strelitzia Hall is situated close to the main entrance with its own shady garden. It is an airy hall with large windows and a lovely patio along one end of the hall. The exclusive use garden area is completely fenced off from the main gardens providing us with a beautiful and shady yet private and safe space for all the exciting activities we're planning. And there is a spot along the paved pathway that you can see in the picture where one can catch more than a glimpse of the waterfall. Of course the fences aren't going to keep out the abundant bird species (local and migrant) that make the gardens their home. So if you are an avid birder or photographer – bring your binoculars and cameras!


The funshops are the creative and doing space of the conference. They are aimed at all ages, from littlies to adults. All you need to do is bring yourself along and our very talented funshoppers will work with you to help you produce something interesting and fun. We'll introduce the other funshops in the newsletters that follow.

Funshop 1 - UPCYCLING

We are really excited to introduce our first funshopper: A very talented unschool mom and upcycler Molebegong (Lebo) Nomvete. We absolutely love the things she creates.

Lebo Nomvete is an unschooling mom of four. She spent much of her life running home based businesses in baking and catering. Since living in Phalaborwa, Lebo developed an awareness and appreciation of living "Green". She then started to incorporate these passions into her family and community projects. She has reduced her family's waste to less than 3 black bags per month by recycling, upcycling and composting. She also 'rescues' waste from friends, family and local businesses. Lebo's venture into sustainability began a few months ago with her company, The Upcycle Shack. With it, she hopes to bring the world of upcycling to a larger audience and continue her journey to show others how important it is to reduce, reuse and recycle. If you can’t wait for the conference and need to contact her for your upcycling needs please let us know and we will put you in contact with her.

Here are some of Lebo's upcycled creations!

So what is Lebo planning for the conference? That will be unveiled… at the conference!

If it can't be reduced, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, resold, recycled or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production. ~ Pete Seeger

Creative and FreePlay Space 

Last week an inspiring and creative discussion took place on the Learning Reimagined Facebook group that we would like to share. The discussion about the creation of our play space at the conference, specifically for our littlies but open to all, started to sound so good that some of us felt we may miss everything else the conference has on offer and spend all of our time immersed in this play space.
This space – a creator's paradise – is a zone where we can create to our hearts content. The ingredients consists of lots of bits and pieces, some wooden boxes, slices of a tree trunk/branch, large pebbles, some large plastic pipes, buckets etc.. Things that we can easily carry in.

The ideas shared were inspiring, so for those who missed out on the conversation or aren’t on Facebook here are some of the suggestions from our clearly very creative learning community:
Je’anna Clements suggestion of acorns and flexi pipes got our creative juices going. Gemma Hartnick suggested an array of smaller tires and large swathes of fabric with pallet wood for ramps.
Jane Mqamelo suggested cardboard boxes, even the size that fridges fit in (Sandra Monteiro Taff addition), ropes, string and eerie music to set the scene.
Lisa de Costa’s suggestion of chunky chalk got us thinking along a path of creativity we hadn’t yet explored.
Mariette Hurter then raised the possibility of asking everyone to bring along something to add to the creative space, so if you feel inclined and are not travelling from afar then please feel free to do so. We for one can’t wait to see all the expressions of creativity (and indulge in the fun!).
If you have anything you'd like to contribute to this space please be in touch with us. If you could please collect for us your cardboard tubes when you have used up your foil, toilet paper and roller towels – we'd be eternally grateful.  And if you're planning on buying a fridge, dishwasher or anything in really big boxes, we'll happily take the boxes off your hands.

Registration for the conference is now open

It has been really heartwarming to see the registrations coming in. If you're ready to register, click here to go straight through to the registration page.

As always, we are happy to answer any questions you may have and invite you to join the discussion on the Learning Reimagined Facebook Group.


Zakiyya and Claire


Take me to the registration page!!
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